RETAIL buffet

PUBLISHED : Wednesday, 29 June, 2011, 12:00am
UPDATED : Wednesday, 29 June, 2011, 12:00am


You can't get more Hong Kong than Tung Lo Wan, as Causeway Bay is called in Cantonese. Down by the harbourside, the Noon Day Gun announces its presence daily. Head south and you plunge into one of the city's quintessential shopping districts - a retail buffet of bustling markets, quirky malls and multilayered department stores. And just to prove that it's not all concrete and glass, Victoria Park - with a particularly 'We are not Amused' statue of Queen Victoria acting as the centrepiece - provides 19 hectares of green space. It's a rare street in Causeway Bay that doesn't host some eatery. There's more than a dash of multiculturalism to Causeway Bay. The presence of the Indonesian Consulate draws a healthy crowd of Indonesians to Victoria Park when the weather is clement at weekends. And Japanese department stores, of which Sogo is the most prominent, have colonised the area.

Just across the street, the Island Beverley is a terrific contrast. A multi-storey mall, its wares are displayed in boutiques that seem little larger than pigeon holes, yet this is where Hong Kong's trendsetters come to get a feel of which way the winds of fashion are blowing.

And perhaps five minutes' walk away, a traditional clothing market runs along Jardine's Crescent, the stalls jammed up next to each other, each piled high with cheap threads and accessories, and the air thick with hawkers' cries and fast-pitched bargaining. It's no surprise that it's a popular place to live.


Running late

Noel Coward immortalised the Noon Day Gun in his song Mad Dogs and Englishmen, but when he was invited to fire it in 1968, he turned up late; the only time the gun was not fired punctually.

Party venue

Times Square may not be as big as its New York namesake, but the plaza is still a major gathering place on New Year's Eve.

Bookworm's paradise

Central Library, behind Victoria Park, is Hong Kong's largest, and contains a vast collection of books, audio-visual and other reference materials.

Fading features

Causeway Bay was formerly known as East Point, although the geographical feature behind the original name has more or less disappeared due to reclamation.

Starring role

The Excelsior, Causeway Bay's oldest hotel, appeared in the Revenge of the Pink Panther.

Gallic flair

French designer Philippe Starck added Gallic flair to Jia, one of Hong Kong's smaller yet charismatic hotels.